Oberursel’s new network of volunteers

One of the problems that many clubs and charities face is finding new members and volunteers to keep them running.  This is often put down to the fact that there are so many of them that those that want to do something are spread more thinly among them, but there are other factors as well, such as a change of lifestyle and flexible working times, meaning that many who would like to volunteer their services want to do so without making long-term commitments.

This was something that become obvious in Oberursel last year during the Hessentag when a large number of residents volunteered to help for certain times during the 10 days that the event ran for.

Recognising this, the town set up the “Netzwerk Bürgerengagement” – a network to bring people who would like to volunteer to do something short-term with organisations looking for volunteers.  And on Saturday morning the network’s new office in the Georg-Hieronymi-Saal (Oberhöchstädter Str. 7) was officially opened.

Opening the office, Mayor Hans-Georg Brum said that it was important that the people supported their town and that working together was the key, particularly due to the high mobility of the population.  Town council chairman Dr. Christoph Müllerleile pointed out that the network is aimed at social causes in particular, as these have a harder time finding volunteers than sports clubs.  He also reminded the councillors not to just sit back now and let the volunteers do everything.

They were joined by Stephan Würz from the Landesehrenamtsbüro (Hessen’s volunteers’ office).  He claimed that many people want to join clubs and charities but do not know how to.  At the same time he highlighted the role that senior citizens have to play in society, saying that they provided new blood (“Nachwuchskräfte”) for volunteers organisations.

A number of organisations used the opportunity – with the autumn fair (“Herbsttreiben”) going on outside – to present themselves.  Among them were the supports of the library who organise the monthly and quarterly book flea markets to fund additional facilities and new books for the library.  Their volunteers, for example, sort out the donated books to remove any with too much damage and to price them all for sale.

Another scheme being presented fos the “IGS Senioren”.  This group of senior citizens visit one of the local schools and advise the children in years 9 and 10 on their choice of career.  They also help arrange work placements for them, assist with the applications and even accompany the children to interviews.

The new office will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am and 2pm.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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